Saturday, July 29, 2006


So after watching track on Wednesday night, I had a really hard time sleeping. I kept thinking about this weekend and the stakes at hand - worried about making the national qualifier because on Thursday we bought our tickets. I visualized the points race- covering the attacks by Murdin and Annette - making sure they didn't get a gap or a lead... building my confidence up in my head and repeating positive thoughts to myself.

The challenge started with the Pursuit on Friday morning - something I have never done nor trained for. My intention was to podium so the pressure would be off for qualifying. Well Jen, expecting to place top 3 just doesn't cut it when you've never done the event, let alone practiced a lot in that position. So I was a little bummed with a time of 4.18 - but hey, you have to start somewhere, right? Then Amara, Kele, Annette and I did the team pursuit - and let me tell you how much FUN that event is. We actually executed it as if we practiced it a lot. We placed 4th out of 5 teams. It was great!

Break for evening session... headed to Miller's parents house where they cooked us some treats and made espresso. Well whatever was in the espresso proved essential in the points race. I opted not to do the Keirin because I wanted to make sure I qualified for nats in the points race. Wise move. I had enough gas in the tank to win 2 sprints and a single point in the race. Unfortunately I missed the first sprint round and PANICED! I knew I had to kick it up a notch and race my race - not let those ladies get away with my points. I ended up winning the next sprint lap, then got one point in the 3rd sprint and took a flier around everyone to clinch a 2nd place to Jennie Reed. YES!!! Podium hair! I can't tell you how excited I am! Ryan got to see it - so did my mom and Marcy. It was incredible! Thank you all!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I LOVE track

I wonder how many times I have posted that as my blog title. It's definitely more than once. But in all reality - I really really do LOVE track. It is one of the funnest sports to compete in and watch. My friend Jill and I went tonight to watch Wed. night racing and there's such a good energy there and people are so friendly. I really think I might have some serious clients for the skirts too. Fun times.

The FSA GP is this weekend - hopefully we have a full field of 8+ women... otherwise they will nix our mass start races. I think we will have enough though. Should be fun! Feel free to come watch - racing starts at 7... there's a beer garden too!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Morning After

Fired up from the night before, I had a really hard time catching some zzzz's Saturday night. The following morning we had a super early crit - and because the local promotors put it on - it was important to Tamarack to support the race. We rolled in at 8:40 - the race started 5 minutes later - only to be delayed while they towed several cars that were parked on the street. With 7 teammates and only 24 racers total - we were able to work on leadouts, team tactics, attacks and solo ventures. I paired up with little Brooke (not to be confused with the other Brooke who leads the team - they call her Mama Brooke). We were designated to go for the second prime together. I kept near the front for most of the race - just waiting for my chance. But unfortunately when the prime bell rang Brooke was near the back of the group and we weren't able to execute out plan. No worries though because Tamarack flooded the field and was able to win it.

At one point M. Brooke asked if I felt ok and told me to attack HARD off the front of the group. I nailed it - no one responded and soloed for 3-4 laps. Ok - note to self: don't hit it so hard you can't recover but learn how hard you need to nail, be able to recover and pursuit it in for the win. Timing is everything. But I gave my first really hard attack a go - and it felt good - real good to do that.

I was taxed for the finishing sprint - and when the leadout train started was unable to pull it together. I still managed 7th - but was pooped from my solo attack. Fitness will only cure that! All in all a great weekend. It definitely built my confidence and I'm really looking forward to staying home this weekend! I've been gone every weekend since the tail end of June!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Twilight

As predicted, Lipton had attacked about three times before they had Kristin attack and sail off the front for a time trial effort for the win. Lipton did a really good job of slowing the pace through the corners and unfortunately we didn't organize a paceline soon enough to reel her back in. The rest ensued in a series of counter attacks and fast paced action around and around downtown Boise. I was feeling good - really good - in comparison to last weekend. Resting and nursing the cold was exactly what the doctor ordered for a good performance.

Since Kristin was off the front she was unfortunately given prime after prime making the rest of us fight tooth and nail for $25 here and there. And since I was feeling so good I decided to go for it and nailed a prime. It was close though and I had to give it some serious gas - I actually think I got to open my sprint up full throttle and see how it compared to the full time pro cyclists. All I can say is that things are coming along and the planets are aligning again. :)

To get over the hurrdle of moving in the pack I mentally rehersed the situation over and over for several hours prior to the event. Constant positive affirmations were key to gaining confidence... and it showed! As a group we rode really strong together and Brooke was able to pull 3rd in the field sprint, Jen 5th, I was 13th, Carrie 15th, Mary and Jana and little Brooke following (sorry, I can't remeber where you ladies placed!). We were all stoked about how hard we worked as a team and with a little practice we should be able to put the odds more in our favor.

I was barely able to sleep that night - replaying the whole crit in my head looking for ways I could improve and reliving my glory-hardest-$25-prime-EVER... seeing us form a paceline that would have caught Kristin.... The sheep counting trick took awhile to work.. plus the fact we had the Morning After Crit at 8:45am in less than 7 hours....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Boilin' Boise

Temps are well over 100 here in Boise... and tonight is the 20th Anniversary Twilight Crit. We should have a small but stout field - locals Kristin Armstrong brought a couple of her Lipton teammates and are sure to keep things fast and interesting. Tamarack has seven racers - so we have a top heavy team. I'm looking forward to seeing how well my body has recovered from having a cold this week. It's hard to figure out the best way to tackle the heat - do you warm up inside? Do you warm up at all? Do you even worry about doing any laps on the course prior to the start? Hmmmm... one thing is for sure - that beer, I mean recovery drink, is going to be TASTEY!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Watching the Tour

Last night we headed down to Magnuson park to watch a big screening of the Queen of all stages. I sat there mezmorized as Rasmusson tapped out a tempo no one could rival. He gets into the zone and just tap tap taps. His upper body remains calm, his lower body working like a well oiled machine.

And poor Flyandis. He cracked hard. He only had 10k to go - and as expected, the attacks started coming. His teammates were well behind him at that point and he didn't have anyone to shepard him. The final climb is a doozy - and it broke many a man. Unfortunately it also broke the mallot juane. So many times I have been there myself - cracking under the pressure... unable to continue on at that tempo. Is it a mental thing? Look at how many other guys were ok with continuing on at that pace, surprized when they realized they were passing poor Floyd. It's almost as though you have to hypnotize yourself while in the pain cave and just plow right through it - ignoring all feeling and shutting down your brain from any self doubt. I definitely think it's a mental thing... now if I can just unlock that pain cave and battle through it...

Still fighting this persistant cough. I rode yesterday and made the mistake of getting my heart rate up. It hurt. I guess I'll just have to save that for the weekend....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Suspicions confirmed....

Yes, I have a cold. Dang. Getting sick is almost as bad as an injury as an athlete. I've been pumping the fluids and cold meds for two days now and am starting to feel better. And it's always a catch 22 whether training when feeling under the weather is helping or making it worse. So I've been staying off my bike. And I'm going to miss the Gastown crit. Oh well.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pole con mole

So some people have a hard time spelling things - but I have a hard time pronouncing them. Tonight at dinner I ordered pole on mole - (pollo con mole). Whopps - I butchered that one!

This morning I woke up with a slight hack - Jana and I went for a nice morning ride and then I came back, showered and felt like poo. I decided to give the race a go - mainly because the course was so much fun and I came here to race. And I was doing my goals - positive self talk during the race, moving forward constantly and not being the last person in the race. And then boom - I hit a wall and started feeling terrible. Once the pack caught me, I had an asthma attack and had to pull over before passing out. Darn - two races in a row where I have terrible performance due to things outside my control. I had taken a couple of hits from my inhaler prior to the race and unfortunately that didn't have any effect. I still feel a little wheezy hours after ward - and think I may be fighting something. Tomorrow will tell.

Friday, July 14, 2006

After thoughts

So after today's less than stellar performance... I've had some time to reflect and think about how I can turn it around and look at the positive side of things. And - I learned that I am strong enough to be in the crit and am more comfortable cornering with the pack around. In the first few laps of crit I felt great - and then I stopped fighting for positioning. So tomorrow I'm going to fight - if but one person at a time and work my way up to the front. A new day - a fresh start!

Day Poo - I mean two....

Woke up as usual in the middle of the night with a hungry stomach. Luckily I didn't lay there as long as usual before heading to the kitchen to eat some left over pizza. I fell back asleep pretty easily and next thing I knew it was time to get up and start putting some breakfast down for today's crit.

During the warmup my legs were feeling a little heavy and I felt slightly hungry - psyching myself out a little bit. The race started and I had a hard time moving up in the field. The course had a slight hill on it and the field started falling apart right away. I managed to get stuck behind a couple of slow riders and next thing I knew I had no gas left in my legs to make the bridge. Two ladies caught up to me and we worked together for awile until we were lapped. I jumped on the back of the group and tried desparately to hang on and move up in the group - only to be shot out the back with 24 laps left to go. I figured I might as well call an ace an ace and pulled myself because I wasn't only destroying my legs, but also killing my confidence. I pulled over frustrated and disappointed. A quick call to Bubba and he cheered my spirits - as he always does.

Jana and Mary did really well. Jana pulled 18th and Mary was 24th. They both fought hard to stay where they could and Jana even pulled a prime. So what happened to old Juicey Poo? Is the fatigue of racing and traveling starting to take its toll? Time to dust myself off and pick myself up and go out tomorrow and do it again!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Day One - Shorewood

Today was hard. 60k in humid heat with a strong international field. It was a pretty straight forward course - basically 4 corners with one little S curve in it. And they were yelling out primes constantly which kept the pace blistery fast. My seat might be a tad low - so I should fix that up tomorrow. I'll tell you what though - hesitating at all will prevent you from moving up and staying up. Women were braking a lot in the corners - which prevented smooth transitions. I went for one prime - but lost it by a world champ sprinter. Tomorrow is a new day though and with that experience under my belt I'm ready to take them on tomorrow.


From the airplane I was struck by how green this area is. It makes sense though - it's America's Dairyland and that doesn't happen from land that's not rich. It took about 10 hours of travel time to get here - and our host housing rules. I slept like a bear in hibernation - over 12 hours. Apparently I needed it. We race later this evening - 60k!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yesterday's Monday Madness

Ryan and I headed out on an early evening ride yesterday - an easy jaunt down to Seward park and back. We came across several people who obviously woke up on the wrong side of the bed. First it was this guy driving an I-Rock in our neighborhood who thought he had the right of way taking a left and yelled, "what'd you say punk?" Big man, let me tell you! We laughed and continued on.

Then we passed this commuter who I had told "on your left." Well apparently he didn't hear me and yelled, "DID YOU SAY SOMETHING?????" Yes, dildo I said on your left and you just got passed by a GIRL! Too bad I wasn't on my pink bike.

Then we were cruising through arb - where I always have some kind of interaction with beast, car or rider. But nothing happened. That is until we pulled up to the light at the U and two Broadmark riders were chased down by an angry bike commuter who yelled at them for passing him in the arb. Agh - what was up with people yesterday? Seriously - it's not like summer suddenly gives these people the right to take it out on cyclists. Does my jersey scream "lay your emotional baggage on me?"

Monday, July 10, 2006

What a weekend!

So the competition at the AVC was a lot more stacked in comparison to IDGP. In most of the mass start events over 12 women showed up and about 5 or so women were there to race. Dominating the field of course was Becky Quinn. She won every race with the exception of the 5 mile - it was agreed before the race to let Kele solo off the front and win it. Annette was there to race, as was Kele, Auna-Brit and Heather too. Heather did much better at her home track and after a little thought - we think she was feeling the pressure of having the national coaches and pro teams at the IDGP. She had several podium finishes and it was great to see her do so well.

I ran too small a gear for the final Keirin heat - I should have geared up an inch or so. I ran a 50x15 and should have been in 51x15. Oh well. Lesson learned.

And I'm done with Miss N' Outs. I didn't even get my heart rate up. Oh well.

The points race was great! I was definitely collecting a lot of points - up 14 when suddenly I pulled up track and moved in behind Noreen. Then she let a gap open up and I had to close it to the main group. Then the group took off again for a sprint and I couldn't hang from exhaustion of the early points. Unfortunately the group ended up lapping me and I slowly clawed my way back up to 0 points. 75 laps with sprints every 5 laps - we averaged over 28 mph. I ran a smaller gear - 49x15 and the legs felt better... but I'm thinking I may have been better off with a larger gear. Oh well - I managed 5th.

On the last day we had our 5 mile scratch race. It went well - I was definintely in control of the race. Although at one point I was in the sprinters lane, following Becky Quinn and Annette. Annette didn't look down track when she followed Becky and Mary was trying to sneak in between us. Unfortunately that caused a crash and Mary went down, grazing me and lucky I just kept pedaling and snuck through the crash. At that point we had maybe 10 laps to go. The wind up slowed down as we stayed up track and continued racing. Then the final sprint came and I got behind a slow poke and had to come the long way around for 5th. Annette was relegated for failure to hold a straight line, which put me into 4th place. All in all it was a good race - despite the crash and near wipe out. I'm stoked that I'm learning from my experiences and putting my knowledge to the test. It's so enriching to have such good competition - and I'm stoked that I'm getting hungrier for a win - I can sense it coming together. This level of competition just shows that you have to be on your toes at all times and take advantage of every situation. If you give these women an inch they'll take a foot. I ran a 50x15 for this race and the gear felt perfect.

Now two days at home and then I'm off to Wisconsin!

Friday, July 07, 2006


SO I just did a search trying to find results on the IDGP and came across an interesting article written by USA cycling on talent pool world qualifications. Check it out:

Specifically, look at the women's qualifications and the list of ways to make it a possibility. Rockin... looks like I'm going to T town this summer after all! And back to Colorado Springs....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ahhh feels good to be home....

If only for a day or two. I woke up this morning thinking about the awesome view we had from our hotel balcony - the springs sure were pretty. Yesterday morning mom and I headed to our hotel buffet breakfast and I ate my heart out. We leisurely loaded up the car and then headed to the airport. Little did we know our return flight not only stopped in San Fran but it also was a commuter plan and first stopped in Las Vegas. We would have been traveling through airports for 8+ hours! But Mom had a good hair day, which means good things are going to happen. :)

We arrived at the airport and a porter saw our loads of gear and helped to cart us upstairs to a clerk with no line. The clerk then put us on a standby direct flight to Seattle leaving at 2:30. And we made it on the flight! Come to find out our other flight was delayed and who knows when we actually would have made it into Seattle. Phew! Ryan picked us up from the airport and we headed straight to Sushi. Yum. I leave Friday for Portland for another track extravaganza. And I also saw T-Town has a women's challenge that was changed to September 1. Sweet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

IDGP Wet wrap up

This weather is very unpredictable. After touring the Garden of the Gods and checking out the local scenery, mom and I headed back to the hotel for an hour of down time before going back to the track for the evening session. Secretly I was exhausted and praying for rain! And rain we did get - but not until after our first series of sprint competitions. I was paired with Anna-Brit - a really fast Canadian sprinter. I figured my only chance was going to be to jump on her early and try to get a gap to hold her off - but instead we did a little cat and mouse game where I tried to pin her up against the rail. And she pretty much knew that was my only chance. So she stuck to my wheel like a fly on ..... yeah. And beat me when she jumped first. It was a good match and I learned a lot - eager to improve that skill. I need to remember flicking and then diving down.... but really my legs felt like lead weights and they wouldn't go any faster even if I wanted them to.

And then the thunder clouds moved in, lightening flashes, thunder, pouring rain and gusty winds. We all headed into the tunnel for some dry huddling and waited it out for about 2 hours. Then it stopped raining and it started to clear up, just in time for another warm up and our sprint rep. Heather and Cari Higgins were in my heat. Again, my legs weren't feeling too spectacular. But you only get stronger if you give it a go! And the three of us played a cat and mouse game - I hestitated a slight moment, throwing out my chance... and Heather had the jump on Cari but pulled up track 100m from the finish, giving Cari the opportunity to win it. Why she pulled up track? She said she has been burned time and time again by not pulling up track. But you never ever ever give up your line! That move cost her the race. But she was content with beating me.

Finally we had our points race. They shortened it from 30 laps to 24, with sprints every 6 laps. Our field was small but stout - Katie Compton and a couple of roadies who always quicken the pace. After the neutral start, katie took off like an animal and we didn't see her again till the end - when she caught us. She didn't do any other races though so her legs were super fresh. So the rest of us pacelined and worked together and I managed to get all the second place points mainly because the other ladies didn't realize what was on the line. My tank was out of gas when Katie caught us on the last lap and I swung up track to only get the last point. But my work was done and it secured me into 2nd. I almost fell over from exhaustion.

All in all it was a great weekend and I'm really glad we came. It gave me a chance to train at altitude and against some of the nations best. I'm looking forward to the AVC next weekend - but think I'll leave the sprinting to the sprinters. :)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

IDGP Session 2

We woke up early this morning to beautiful blue skies - a far cry from last night's drizzle. I put some food in the gullet and off we were to the track for the morning session of Kierin and Scratch race. In my first heat I pulled my rear wheel off track and they had to restart. I didn't make the final - but had another chance to redeem myself a few minutes later. I asked someone to hold me at the start - I drew position #1. Unfortunately my bike holder didn't throw me at all - he just released holding me. And I wasn't able to get on the bike soon enough - nor was anyone jumping at the chance to grab the bike wheel so they relegated me and I got 9th. :( I was a little bummed - but rather than dweeling on a rookie mistake, I thought, hey this might give me more juice for the scratch race! Mom was there too to pick me up, dust me off and say go again!

And go again I did. The scratch race was awesome. A couple of roadies were throwing attacks left and right - increasing the pace quite a bit. As soon as the pack would all catch they would swing up track, and so would I. I ran a smaller gear - 88" and was able to jump sooner and get a gap off the field. I could sense the attacks coming and was well enough up track to make my jump identical to the roadies. Becky ended up pulling with 2 laps to go - I sensed a time when I could have jumped on her because I could tell she was taxed... but alas I didn't. Cari and Cheerwine both tried to come around us but my spin was unstoppable. Becky won, I was second and Cari 3rd. I'm so excited my mom was there to see it! Tonight I get to show off my podium hair! Yeah!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Rained out. :(

5 minutes before the start of the second session of the day, a hard drizzle saturated the track. Unfortunately it didn't stop - and they announced racing will commence tomorrow at 9am. Which means I have a stinkin' long day ahead of me! Yowsa! But these kind of hickups are becomming the norm I think - last week with the broken seat post, this week with the quadruple events back to back... life as a bike racer!

We had a great dinner with Anna-Brit, her coach Konan and Heather. Anna-Brit is a hoot and definitely an inspiration. They made fun of my chicken legs today! We had a good chuckle out of that - my mom has been making comments all weekend saying I'm the skinnest track racer out here.... and now it's been confirmed! Bak bak bak gggggbak!!!!

PS - I really hope my seat post fails so I can show them all just how well I can low ride. :)

Experimenting? Or is it called development?

This track is fast. I posted my fastest time yet - with a 12.69, over a second faster than before. Not bad - but not even close to the other ladies. Jennie Reed grunted harder resulting in a smoking time of 11.6. So maybe if I grunt more I can come within fractions of a second of her? Who knows. One thing I do think is that I'm better off spinning a gear vs. using a big grinder. My legs are just more adapted to spinning faster, resulting in me getting up to speed quicker as well as maintaining it. Dang. But it was a learning experience and for only doing a handful of 200 m tt's... not bad.

Tonight we have Kierin heats and final and then a 5 mile scratch race. Hopefully more women will show up for the mass start events. We only had 7 women this morning.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Springs

Mom and I drove down this morning after watching a gripping tour and went straight to the track. It's super nice - outdoors and concrete and the dust in the air lands on the track making it even faster. The transitions are really smooth and after a brief 40 lap warm up I did some efforts. The first one made me feel like my lungs were going to pump out of my chest. The air is thin here - elevation 6010 feet. Yowsa - that first one hurt. After resting for a while, basically to make sure I wasn't going to ralph on the big phone, I headed back out. By this point the national team members and Spike were out doing an afternoon workout. I got buzzed a couple times by Becky - she was letting me know she knew I was on the track. I laughed, to myself. No one seemed extremely friendly but coming from Washington where everyone makes you feel at home - it's definitely a little different. Oh well. Tomorrow morning starts the spring qualifier. 8 women advance - hopefully my legs will do me well. More then!


July 1, 2006

I opened my eyes this morning to the familiar mountain presence of Beaver Creek – listening as the steady stream of cars made its way up the main Boulevard toward the ski lifts. Without snow though, who knows where they were getting an early bird start to. I tried to sleep in longer but considering I went to bed at 9 pm last night, my internal clock was urging me to get up and hydrate. The air is dry here – perfect for producing massive boogers.

Yesterday we made the venture from Seattle to Denver. Mom called at 5am and I realized I had missed my original wake up call so it was a mad dash to shower and throw all my bike gear in the car. Things at the airport were moving slow and technically we didn’t have any time to dawdle so I had to buy some food out of the vending machine. Mmmm granola bars. And I’m usually so good about packing travel food!

We got to Denver, rented a HUGE Suv (mainly to hold my insane amounts of bike gear) and fought lunch time traffic into Lakewood, a suburb of Denver. The car temp read 113. It’s hot and dry here. Our other objective on this trip is to do some inspections so we headed to Gam’s Lakewood Starbucks and met with the store manager and our property manager. Both were super welcoming and super happy with the way things are run at that store. Easy trip. And a tax write off! I talked with the property manager about the doping scandal a little – both of us amazed at its implications but the sad reality of the situation – drugs run deep in the system. That’s too bad.

We continued on our way up I-70 West into the mountains, only to make it about 15 miles out of the suburbs when traffic came to a dead halt. When we finally made it to the scene, a Class A motor home had caught on fire and burnt all but the frame and fireman were frantically hosing it down with water. We turned on the radio and heard that all weekend traffic was stopped and backing up toward the 470 toll highway - boy were we thankful we made it out before it got crazy!

It’s a long ass trip up here to the mountains – definitely a full day of travel. But once you’re here – it’s beautiful and everyone is in resort mode. Smiles come easy and the service is amazing. Ryan and I came in December and spent Christmas skiing the slopes – to see it in the summer is such a contrast! Everything is super green – but much different than Washington. Not to mention your at about 8,000 feet. I’m happy to have a couple extra days to acclimate though.

We will spend another night here and then head down to the Springs to do some bike racing. Oh yeah – come to find out one of my mom’s old friends from Eugene called yesterday and her daughter Paige is dating Adrian! Small world!